GRANITE, Ore. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy shot and killed two men during a deer hunting trip in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, then accidentally shot and wounded himself, authorities said Thursday.
The teenager fled after shooting the men but then apparently accidentally shot himself in the leg and returned to the cabin where his group was staying for help, the Grant County sheriff’s office said in a statement. Another member of the group held the boy at gunpoint, forced him to get on the floor, then taped him to a chair.
The timing of the shootings was unclear, but police were dispatched to the remote location before 1 a.m. Thursday and “took charge of the crime scene” and the boy, the statement said. Deputies were called to the scene by the cabin’s owner, who had fled and drove about 9 miles to the tiny town of Granite, authorities said.
The boy and the two victims — ages 43 and 64 — were from the Baker City area, about 25 miles east of Granite, the sheriff’s office said. Their names were not released.
The boy was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Baker City, then flown to a hospital in Boise, Idaho. Linda Payne Smith, vice president of marketing and communications at St. Alphonsus Hospital, said Thursday evening she could not comment on whether the boy was still at the hospital, or what his condition was.
Sheriff Glenn Palmer declined to answer questions about a possible motive or the relationship between the boy and the two men. He said it likely would be Friday morning before any names are released, after the victims’ families have been notified.
Granite was established after the discovery of gold in 1862 and had only 38 residents with a median age of 62 when the 2010 census was taken. It has a motel and a combination restaurant/general store for businesses.
The cabin on the edge of the Umatilla National Forest is southwest of Granite on private land off a U.S. Forest Service road, authorities said.
Hunting has long been a pastime in the area.
In the 1970s and 1980s, sawmills would close for the first week of deer season and kids would skip school so families could go to hunting camp, said Mike Wickert, owner of Discount Firearms in Baker City. Now the sawmills are gone and deer are less plentiful.
“The only reason I go hunting now is my grandson wants to,” Wickert said. “It’s more a male bonding thing for me.”